I had an interesting conversation with one of my best friends this week. When I told her that my next bake-off was to find the best brownie recipe on the internet, she told me she’d pick brownies over cookies any day. I’ll admit: as a self-professed cookie lady, that felt like a hot take. But, after baking my way through all of these brownie recipes, I understand where she’s coming from.
For all my brownie people, I get you now. There’s just something so perfect about a tray of brownies and the range of textures that can all be found in one batch.
Before I start to wax poetic on the metaphorical beauty of a brownie, let’s chat about this bake-off. In the fall, we polled our community on Instagram to see whether they wanted banana bread or brownies next. Banana bread edged out a victory and I was only a little disappointed. I had baked plenty of banana breads and knew what I liked. But brownies are a whole different game. There are so many techniques and ingredient combinations that can create a whole range of results. So I was excited to finally get my hands on a list of the best brownie recipes on the internet. And, of course, I’m never not excited to start baking.
Rules of the road:
Must-Follow Recipes as Written
The rules require me to follow the selected recipes as written with exact measurements and techniques as listed. The only change I made was to leave out chocolate chips as a mix-in for each of the recipes. (To keep things consistent, we’re testing the base recipes, here.) All recipes were baked the same night and taste-tested that evening as well as the next morning.
All taste testers ranked the brownies based on the following guidelines:
- Gorgeous chocolate flavor. (Taste testers wanted a rich, chocolatey brownie.)
- Texture texture texture *
- Would I eat more than one brownie?
* In testing these brownies, we realized it was hard to truly compare and rank them against each other. While there were some we liked better than others, we also understood that everyone has their own textural preferences. Some people like a cakey brownie, others like a melt-in-your-mouth fudge-y version. Some people liked a chewy edge piece and others wanted a molten center. The last two recipes were our top-ranking brownies. I’m marking the overall profile of the brownie for the kind of brownie person you should make them for on the rest of them. These were all genuinely good recipes, and what we discovered is that there is a recipe for everyone. So use this as your guide and find the recipe that fits your brownie-baking (and eating!) Needs.
Recipe: Broma Bakery, Best Basic Brownies
The Best of Both Worlds: A Fudgey and Cakey Brownie
Like Sarah mentions in her recipe notes, this brownie toes the line between being both cakey and fudge-y in texture. This was the only recipe we tested that did not use melted chocolate in the batter, just cocoa powder for that rich chocolate flavor. The slight cakeiness was applauded by my tester who does indeed prefer a cakey brownie to a fudge-y brownie. We also liked that it didn’t feel heavy or overwhelming. The edges were perfectly chewy and the corner piece was my move here. It’s still rich in flavor and would be perfectly paired with a cold cup of milk. Or for breakfast. I do not judge. Oh, and everything is done in ONE BOWL. For the fudge-y brownie lovers out there, I have made Sarah’s Better Than Boxed Brownies and they are phenomenal.
Recipe: Hummingbird High, Better Than Supernatural Fudge Brownies
The Brownie I Could Eat Five of: Slightly Fudgey Middles With a Delicious Chew
These brownies are so good, y’all. As a chewy brownie lover, they have that perfect balance of a toothsome chew with a rich flavor. The flavor leans on slightly milkier chocolate, but it felt very balanced. The textures of all the pieces also had a little something for everyone. The edges and corners were super chewy and had all of us going back for seconds. The middles had that nice fudge-y bite that people were craving. Folks also liked the crackles on the top that provided a nice textural contrast. Overall, totally delicious and easy to pull together.
Recipe: Vanilla Bean Blog, My Favorite Brownies
The Most Nostalgic Brownie Recipe: Papery Tops and the Perfect Chewy Texture
In her recipe, Sarah notes that these brownies are “a nod to the boxed brownies of her youth.” And that’s exactly what I thought when I tried them. They were the most nostalgic of all the brownie recipes. They reminded me of baking a box of Betty Crocker brownies with my dad in the kitchen. I also love that she acknowledges how brownies are subjective, and there is something for everyone. These brownies have a really nice chew to them, but also boast a deep, chocolatey flavor. And the papery top is just wonderful and so classic. Several testers noted that they could eat the most brownies from this batch, and I totally get it. It’s a classic.
Recipe: Benjamin Ebuehi, Classic Fudgey Brownies
The Very Good Classic Brownie: The Most Balanced Brownie With a Hint of Espresso
If you’ve never baked any of Benjamin’s recipes before, let me welcome you to the club. We made her Almond Brittle Cake from her cookbook for my dad’s birthday last year and it was an absolute HIT. So I was stoked to find a brownie recipe with her name on it. These are the brownies that I will have in my repertoire for years to come. They have all the nods to a classic fudge-y boxed brownie with the crackly paper top. Chewy edge pieces and a delicious fudge-y center seal the deal. Benjamin includes vanilla cream and cherries as an addition, but I think they are great on their own.
Recipe: Mike Bakes NYC, Ultimate Fudge Brownies
For the Fudgey Brownie Lover: A deeply chocolatey brownie with a melt-in-your-mouth fudge center
This brownie is everything. While it’s a bit more involved — a ten-minute whip time for the eggs and sugar and a pan-dropping method to get a crackly top — the effort is well worth it. These are the ultimate fudge brownies. They are incredibly rich and the centers practically melt into a molten fudge in your mouth. This is truly the brownie for our fudge lovers out there. The crackly top added a nice bit of texture to the bite, too. And the edge pieces still offered a little bit of that chewiness that I personally enjoy in my brownies.
Recipe: Caire Saffitz, Malted Forever Brownies
The Very Best Brownie: Malty and Chocolately in Flavor, Amazing Chew, and Perfect Fudginess
This is now my official favorite brownie recipe and the winner of our bake-off from taste testers. The secret ingredient that makes these so good? A little bit of malt milk powder takes the flavor up a notch. You do not know what the ingredient is when you taste it. But it adds this richness and the slight savoriness that makes you go back for another brownie. It’s listed as an optional ingredient, but I think it’s absolutely needed. The texture is fudge-y in the middle, but still with that chew on the edges that round it out. A perfect 10/10, and in our taste test, came out as the best brownie recipe on the internet. Seconds, please.
Do you have an ultimate brownie recipe you have to share? Which brownie would you choose?